Sunday, January 16, 2005

altruism in character

this is what i get for watching stephanopoulos every sunday morning.

power brings out and tests a person's true character. it's when you know right from wrong, and you choose the former even though it's not beneficial for you personally, that you pass that test.

something that seems uniform in the republican party (republicans, not necessarily conservatives) is the will to first and foremost side with party lines on any issue (before and after knowing what the issue is).

this, to me, signifies some deep-seeded flaw of character. they're not stupid. they're not just liars. intrinsically there is something askew and bitter within their character - an emotional axe to grind, childhood trama, emotional abuse, whatever - that somehow shapes their intentions.

john mccain (arizona senator) was accused of fathering an illegitiamate black child (he adopted a bangladeshi girl), being gay, and cheating on his wife during the 2000 republican primaries against bush in south carolina. his wife was also accused of being a drug addict.

why would mccain campaign for the man who accused him of these things four years later?

why would senator bill frist (r)-texas, a medical doctor, go on national tv and claim not to know how aids is transmitted? why would he do that?

because they do what's best for their party and themselves regardless of anything else.

and i acknowledge that it's not just republicans. it's everyone inside politics and mostly everyone outside. but you have to look at it comparatively.

bill clinton lying about a blowjob and george bush lying about why we went to war are NOT the same thing. they're both dishonest, but do their lies have the same repercussions?

you can say that politicians' motivation is just money and power and sex, but who isn't motivated by money and power and sex? the only variable is whether you're willing to act in ways detrimental to others in order to attain them.

i am not george bush. i don't have his power. i can only control my own behavior and speech, and all i, or anyone, can do is act along a general concensus of morality, not necessarily what i believe is morality. not below the standard, at least.

but the president's means are exponentially greater than mine, and i think that it's evident he hasn't acted in totally selfless ways with his power; the word "abhorrent" comes to mind. the latest example:

he throws himself a $40 million inauguration party (billed to you and i) in his own honor during a time when:

  • soldiers are ill-equipped and dying in his war
  • veterans are living on the streets
  • millions of americans have no health insurance
  • southeast asia lays in waste (no, $350 million is not enough by far)
  • mercury levels in fish are so high that 1 in 6 women will give birth to children with some sort of mental deficiency (which i guess is good for bush's party - they'll all grow up and vote republican)
  • africa and aids (let me know if explanation is needed, or ask bono)

and he launches a $200 billion unnecessary war to "protect americans" while our own country's ports and borders are utterly unsecure. what really was that all about? oil? ego? re-election? a vendetta?

so these, to me, aren't signposts of a man whose character is deeply seeded in selflessness. granted, every president has misallocated large sums of money for an inauguration party - and i think they're all devoid of true altruism for it.

politicians don't get elected without partaking in some sort of nefariousness. but again, it's all about relativity, and bush is exceptionally and inhumanely low on the totem pole.

i don't post alot of song lyrics. maybe i should. my favorite poetry comes from song lyrics. anyway, these are from the song "so says i" by one of my favorite groups the shins. they seemed appropriate:

An address to the golden door
I was strumming on a stone again
pulling teeth from the pimps of gore when hatched
a tragic opera in my mind...
and it told of a new design
in which every soul is duty bound
to uphold all the statues of boredom therein lies
the fatal flaw of the red age

Because it was nothing like we'd ever dremt
our lust for life had gone away with the rent we hated
and because it made no money nobody saved no one's life.

So we burned all our uniforms
and let nature take its course again
and the big ones just eat all the little ones
that sent us back to the drawing board.

In our darkest hours
we have all asked for some
angel to come
sprinkle his dust all around
but all our crying voices they can't turn it around
and you've had some crazy conversations of your own.

We've got rules and maps and guns in our backs
but we still can't just behave ourselves
even if to save our own lives so, says I, WE ARE A BRUTAL KIND.

Cuz this is nothing like we'd ever dremt
tell Sir Thomas More we've got another failed attempt
cuz if it makes them money they might just give you life this time.

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